Monday, January 19, 2015

M is for Martin

Today I was searching for my snowflake stamp when I found my beloved MLK Jr. stamp!  It HAD to be used today.  So I made this little MLK Jr. themed letter m page for my daughter.  We are all about learning the alphabet these days!  Hearing her say "Martin! /m/-/m/-/m/!" totally melted my heart.  She loved stamping Martins inside of the m.  If you don't have a stamp like this, (because really, how many people have MLK Jr. stamps lying around?)I would use scrap pieces of paper and glue them onto the m.  You could also pick a color to reinforce your color of the week.  You can grab this letter m freebie by clicking HERE.    

Graphics from Creative Clips and A Sketchy Guy.
We also talked about who Dr. King was and read the book Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport.  I love this book because it has a simple message and nice illustrations.  I paraphrased the book for my daughter and she enjoyed it! 

If you are a K-2 teacher you may also like my Martin Luther King Jr. NO PREP Pack.  You can find this in my TpT store by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Polar Animals and the Letter Ii

With the start of the new year, I made a promise to myself that I would get more organized about the educational (and fun!) activities that I do with my daughter every week.  AND I'm going to blog about it!  I'm all about themes, and because it's January I decided to start with polar animals.  It's always been one of my favorite units to teach my students about!  I also decided to focus on one letter a week.  My daughter's name is Isla, so we started with the letter Ii.

This was our first attempt at using Do-A-Dot markers.  It was a BIG hit!  She loved finding all of the letters in the igloo.  Each time she did a dot I prompted her to say the sound for i.  You can download this page and a few others we did this week by clicking HERE. (We also did the included penguin page and polar bear puzzles, but I forgot to take pictures of those in action.  I laminated both of those pages and printed the polar bear puzzles on card stock for durability.)

This is one of the other letter i pages I made.  I laminated it so we could use it over and over again.  The markers we used are Crayola Washable Dry Erase Markers.  They aren't stinky like Expo markers and they are WASHABLE!  I modeled how to write the capital and lowercase i, then let her practice on her own - she felt like such a big girl :).  This was a quick activity but she asked to do it every day!

Penguin clip art from Creative Clips,
I made this color sorting game with things I had around the house.  The wood baskets are from a Melissa and Doug play food set my daughter got for Christmas.  I'm so glad I didn't toss them!  The blocks are a Melissa and Doug Wooden Blocks set.  I printed out the penguins(sticking with the polar animals theme), laminated them and taped them to the baskets.  This is a game I kept out all week and she kept going back to it.  I also had her practice naming the colors and shapes as she sorted them.

This idea came from No Time for Flash Cards and I couldn't wait to try it.  It was so easy to prep!  I used a blue paper bin from the Target Dollar Spot.  I filled the bin with a few inches of water and then put a small bowl in it(for the ocean) and filled the bowl with potatoes so it wouldn't float.  Then I placed it in the freezer overnight.  When I took it out the next day the bowl was stuck in the ice, so I filled the bowl with some lukewarm water and let it sit for a few minutes until the ice around it melted enough for the bowl to come out.  I added a little water to the ocean for the animals to swim in.  The ocean was her favorite part of the activity.  All of the animals went swimming!  She also liked breaking off small pieces of ice as they melted away from the ocean and eating it(so I'm really glad I cleaned the bin before hand!).  We added a couple ice cubes for "ice bergs" and she loved that as well.  You can see in one corner of the bin the ice was raised and the animals were able to slide down it.  I don't know how that happened or I would recreate it because she also had a lot of fun with that part.  We talked about the names of the animals and their colors, how some animals live on land and others in the water,  and talked about cold vs. hot.  The animals are from the Toob Penguins and Artic sets(which are crazy expensive on Amazon today so I didn't include a link).  Did you know they sell Toob Animals at Michaels Craft Stores?  You can use a coupon and get them 40-50% off!  

SNACKS.  So while I was searching Pinterest for polar animal ideas, I came across these cute snack ideas.  How could I resist?  The polar bears were SO easy and quick to make - she loved them!  The penguin sandwich (from Disney) took more time, but when my daughter saw her lunch she GAVE IT A HUG! Literally, she hugged her plate - lol!  Made the time it took to make it all worth it.  The penguin cup was a gift from her aunt last year(from Target).

That's a little bit about our week.  I took more pictures of our letter Ii activities, but can't find them so I will be better about where I put them for my next post!  It you'd like to see more polar animal ideas you can check out my January Pinterest board by clicking HERE.

Coming up next....the letter s, as in s is for snowman!  Check back next week to read all about it!


Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Crafts!

My goal this month has been to do a fun holiday project or craft each week with my daughter. There are so many AMAZING activities on Pinterest, but many of them were too much work for my brain to think about right now.  I wanted to do things that were easy prep, low mess and fast clean up.  So what have we done?  Here’s a look:

Cereal Christmas Trees
This was really easy to prep!  Everything I needed I had in the house.  I cut out the tree shape, trunk and star from construction paper(freehand).  I used craft scissors to cut the tree to give it a little pizzazz.  Then grabbed a handful of fruit loops for Isla (my daughter, 22 months) to glue on the tree like ornaments.  I put a dab of white glue on the tree and then she put a fruit loop on the glue.  It was a quick project to complete but she had a lot of fun!

Christmas Name Train
I picked up the foam train shape and foam stickers at the dollar tree.  We started with spelling out her name.  I gave her one letter at a time for her to place on the train.  We practiced saying the names and sounds of each letter while we were at it!  (Lots of fun to be had with those foam letters.)  Then she picked out the foam shapes she wanted, I peeled off the backing and she placed them where she wanted.  Both the shapes and the letters were sticky, so no glue mess to worry about.  We have a lot of leftovers so she can do this several times over!

Christmas Coloring Book
This counts right? ;)  I got this Christmas coloring book at the dollar tree. She really enjoyed coloring a few pages and then she was over it for the day.  But it’s a good sized coloring book so we have gotten it out quite a bit this month.  A quiet, non-messy, no prep activity is always welcome in this house!   
This was right before I had to run back around the table to keep her from spilling those candies all over the floor. 
Gingerbread Houses (Ok - not so easy prep, low mess, fast clean up but full of priceless memories!)
A family tradition!  Every year my family gets together to make gingerbread houses.  This was Isla’s first time making a gingerbread house.  My sister premade the houses so that they were ready to be decorated.  Every one brought candy and went to town decorating.  I put the frosting on for Isla and she picked out the candy and stuck it on her house.  She didn’t eat as much of the candy as I thought she would have, but I think that’s only because she tried one of those red oblong candies and then decided she didn’t want to try any more candy, haha!  If you are going to make gingerbread houses be sure to check out your local 99 cent store.  They have Christmas tree and Santa shaped gummies that are perfect for this project! 

So, that’s what we’ve been up to around here.  What projects/crafts are you doing with your little ones this time of year?  I’d love to hear about it!  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Apple Tree Craft

Last week I did this cute little apple tree art project with my daughter and I wanted to share it with you!  It's SUPER easy and fun for a wide range of age groups.

 My daughter is 19 months old, so I keep things really simple.  I pre-cut the leaves, trunk, and sun from construction paper.  My daughter (with help) used a glue stick to glue each piece.   After she put the glue on, I placed them on the blue paper and she patted down the pieces.  For the apples we used red Fruit Loops.  I put a spot of white glue on the tree and then she put the "apple" on the glue - this was her favorite part!  For the sun rays, I put white glue around the sun and she placed the rays on the glue.  Fast and simple!  It's now hanging on our refrigerator and I love looking at it every day.

Here she is with her project!

This project would be great for primary grades and would be a cute classroom display! Here are some more ideas for this project:
- use red, green and yellow "apples"
- have students write the number of apples they have on the trunk
-use two colors of apples and have students write number sentences to go with it
-add grass to the bottom with a strip of green paper cut to look like grass
-add white clouds
The possibilities are endless!

Here is a copy of the template I used for this project.  Click on the picture to download.

If you are looking for more apple projects and fun with Johnny Appleseed, you should read my post HERE.  Have fun!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Are You Going to the Louisiana SDE Conference?!

Hooray for all those attending the Louisiana SDE Conference this week!  While you're there be sure to stop by the Teachers of TpT booth.  Along with displaying some great resources, the booth is giving out GOODY BAGS of fabulous teacher resources.  Supplies are limited so be sure to stop by ASAP.  Below is what you will find in the goody bag from me - a free sample and gift!

I'm also having a sale in my TpT store during the conference (Wednesday-Friday).  Now is a great time to grab my blends units.  I'm currently in the process of updating them and when finished these units will be double their current size, and the price will be adjusted accordingly.  These units are getting complete makeovers and many activities will be added!  My Triple Blends unit has already been updated so that will give you an idea of what the other three blends units will include when updated.  Click HERE to check them out!    

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Book for Toddlers and a Book for Mommy ~ We Love Books Linky!

Now that I have a toddler, my book interests have shifted gears.    I wanted to share some great books for those that have a toddler in their life.  My daughter who is now 16 months(sniff), is going through a stage where she is OBSESSED with books.  Sounds like every teachers dream right? Ya....that novelty wears off after reading the same book 63 times by noon - EVERY DAY.  Ok, so I actually love that she loves to read and of course I'm trying to foster that love of reading.  But I have been guilty of hiding a few books that I desperately need a break from! (There goes my mom of the year award ;)

Some books my daughter really loves right now are lift-the-flap board books by Karen Katz.  They are super cute and Isla LOVES to lift each flap.  They are pretty sturdy, but I noticed she tore one of the flaps when she was "reading" by herself.  Nothing a little tape can't fix! A great part of these books is the prepositional language - behind, under, in, etc.  Here are the books we have:

This was her first Karen Katz book.  The Easter Bunny gave it to her!

When I realized she loved the Easter book so much I got her this one.  She loves dogs!

I couldn't pass this one up because it was 60% off!  $3? Yes please!  Check it out on Amazon HERE.  How else did I rationalize buying a Halloween book in May?  I said to myself 'Hey, it's front loading vocabulary!' HA!

And now, a book for Mommy!
Photo: It's a 3 day weekend!!!! What book/series are you starting this weekend :-)

Today is the LOOOOOONG awaited release of Diana Gabaldon's latest book in the Outlander series, Written In My Own Heart's Blood.  I am a super fan of the series, and I can't wait to read it!  If you haven't read this series you MUST start from the beginning, trust me.  Go buy yourself a copy of Outlander, the first book in the series HERE.  Then, make sure you have the Starz channels by August because this book series is becoming a TV series!  I am SO excited to see this series come to life! Check it out!! View the series trailer on YouTube HERE.

Head over to Mrs. Jump's Linky to see more book suggestions!